The Reef HQ and Property Services section provides a range of supporting services for the Authority in relation to:
- coordination of business continuity planning and associated activities
- protective security
- property and facilities management.
The Authority designed its business continuity framework to minimise the impact(s) following a business disruption event and include all agency functions. The business continuity plan sets out the principle processes, roles and responsibilities in executing the response to a business disruption event that impacts on the Authority’s Townsville headquarters and/or Reef HQ Aquarium.
The effectiveness of this plan was tested in February 2019 during and after the severe flooding that impacted Townsville. The team actively engaged with key stakeholders to reduce office closure timeframes, confirm staff welfare, and put in place support arrangements.
An effective protective security environment is essential for an agency to function efficiently and effectively to secure human, information and physical resources, at home and overseas. It helps ensure the Australian Government’s continued capacity to function and enhances public confidence in the Government and its institutions. In accordance with its terms of reference, the Authority’s Protective Security Steering Committee met five times during the reporting period. The committee is chaired by Dr Simon Banks, General Manager Reef Protection.
Developing and fostering a positive security culture is critical to security outcomes and the Authority’s protective security program matured significantly during 2018–19 with:
- a successful transition to new protective security policy arrangements from 1 October 2018
- the implementation of three key policies:
- Security governance arrangements
- Physical security
- Personnel security
- completion of a holistic security risk assessment
- the launch of mandatory training.
Property and facilities management
The Commonwealth property management framework is mandatory for officials and accountable authorities of non-corporate Commonwealth entities and relates to real property. Officials must comply with and demonstrate value for money to ensure the best outcome from property decisions. Throughout 2018–19, the Authority focused on increasing the effectiveness of planning and transitioning to mandatory leasing and facilities management coordinated procurement arrangements.
Achievements during 2018–19 included the complete office fit-out and relocation of all Cairns-based staff from two geographically separate locations into one facility, and the leasing, fit-out and relocation of the main office headquarters in Townsville.